**This is intended for a blog article, but I would greatly appreciate some Catholic feedback to make sure it is theologically sound. I would be ESPECIALLY greatful if someone with a theolgy degree or other near-equivalent background could review this. I have sent thigs to the local diocese in the past, but I seldom hear back in a timely manner.
I used blue font for the parts I am particularly wary about. (This is where my drive for apologetics meets my very limited theology background).
Part 1 of 2**
Over the past few years I have lost count of how many times I’ve heard various prophesies, dreams and visions from Scripture get tossed around to ‘prove’ that “the world will end on [such-n-such date]”, or “Rome is the great harlot”, or “the rapture will leave the sinners behind [in such-n-such fashion]”. Of course, it only takes a closer look at Scripture and history to see that these assertions are a gross misapplication of Scripture. But there is one prophecy in particular that seems to get ignored. While hunting through the various prophesies to ‘prove’ one thing or another, this one, for whatever reason, is simply overlooked by those folks who otherwise ‘seem’ like they are out to uncover the truth. It is a prophecy tucked into the first chapter of the book of Malachi.
“For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.” (Mal 1:11)
Some later translations, such as the KJV and New American Standard, use future-tense verbs ("…my name will be great…incense is going to be offered…").What exactly is being said here? Let’s take a look.
“…For from the rising of the sun to its setting…”. Catholics should be very familiar with this because we hear it at Mass, sometimes as “…from east to west…”. I suppose you can look at it how you want. It can be linear timeline, so to speak, as in “from dawn to dusk”, or a global view suggesting “all around the world”.
“…my name is great among the nations…”. This is how we know it was a prophecy of a time to come, which had not yet been fulfilled when Malachi was recorded. God’s Name was not yet “great among the nations” in that time bacause most nations were pagan. God had not yet been proclaimed to all the nations. As I noted earlier, some later translations use future tense verbs here. Every Christian should be able to indentify with this because every Christian is called to profess Christ to all the nations…to spread the Gospel message to all the world. And in the past 2,000 years I think it’s fair to say that we’ve reached the far corners of the globe to proclaim Christ. Already hundreds of years ago, missionaries were setting out to the most remote parts of the world, often times being martyred for doing so.
“…and in every place incense is offered to my name…”. It’s very clear here that God, speaking through His prophet, expects to have incense offere to His Name in every place, as part of this prophecy. This should be very familiar to Catholics, some Lutherans and Anglicans/Episcopalians, and perhaps others who have not abandoned the use of incense in their worship.
[to be continued below…]